tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Sep 03 11:45:16 2013

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Re: [Tlhingan-hol] fiat justitia ruat coelum

Steven Boozer (sboozer@uchicago.edu)



De'vID:
> >> How would one translate "fiat justitia ruat coelum", i.e., "Let
> >> justice be done though the heavens fall."
 
QeS 'utlh:
>> I'm surprised you're basing your translation so heavily on the
>> English. The Latin merely means "Let justice be done, let the heavens
>> fall", with the connection between the two merely implied.

De'vID:
> Also, I noticed that the other meaning of {pum} "accuse" introduces a
> double meaning to these translations: may justice be done, even if the
> stars accuse. As we know, the naked stars bear witness to one's deeds in
> Klingon mythology.
 
I too like the possible wordplay with {pum} "accuse".  I've missed much of the discussion but I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss {pum} "fall" just because it's too literal.  Cf. the WikiPedia article on this very proverb:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_justitia_ruat_coelum 


De'vID:
> Also, I prefer {chav} over {rIn}, as I think Klingons would view justice
> as something to be achieved.
> 
> Perhaps I'm trying too hard to replicate the brevity of the original.
> As we know, a short expression in English doesn't necessarily translate to
> a short expression in Klingon (think "buy or die").

You know, I was just about to suggest {chav} when I saw De'vID's post.  Since {ruv} has never appeared in a canon sentence AFAIK - is it in the paq'batlh? - it's at least possible that one can {ruv chav} "achieve justice".  Note that {chav} is used with other abstract nouns:

{quv chav}:

  batlhHa' vanglu'taHvIS quv chavbe'lu' 
  One does not achieve honor while acting dishonorably. TKW

{Hegh chav}:

  Hegh neH chav qoH 
  A fool's only achievement is death. TKW

{ngoQ chav}:
  
  tlhIngan ngoQmey chavmeH HoH tlhInganpu' 
  Klingons kill for their own purposes. TKW

  ngoQvam luchavmeH ghawran maghpu' be'nI'pu' 
  To this end, the sisters have acted against Gowron...
  in order to gain power. S26

{qa' patlh chav}:

  qaSDI' nenghep, qa' patlh chu' chav tlhIngan SuvwI' 
  The Age of Ascension marks a new level of spiritual
  attainment by a Klingon warrior. S9

  SuvwI' qa' patlh veb chavlaHmeH tlhIngan lo'chu' chaH.
  toDujDaj toblu'.
  [They] use the devices [painstiks] to inflict pain in a
  manner which will allow the Klingon to attain a higher
  state of spirituality as a warrior, proving his mettle. S32 

{yay chav}:

  yay chavlu' 'e' bajnISlu' 
  Victory must be earned. TKW

  noH QapmeH wo' Qaw'lu'chugh yay chavbe'lu' 
  "Destroying an empire to win a war is no victory" TKW 

  qIbDaq Hoch Hovtay'mey bocharghchugh, yay bochav. 
  Victory shall be yours if you conquer the systems
  within the Galaxy. MKE

De'vID:
> ruv chavlu'jaj; 'ej ruvmo' pumchugh Hovmey, pumjaj.
> ruv chavlu'jaj; 'ej Hovmey pummoHchugh ruv, pumjaj.

How about rephrasing this in the active voice:

  chal vIpumnISmoHchugh ruv vIchav.
  I will attain justice (even) if I must cause the sky/heavens to fall!

This version also recalls the Klingon proverb:

  Dubotchugh yIpummoH 
  If it's in your way, knock it down. TKW

which is consistent with the "come what may" attitude of the original.


--
Voragh
Ca'Non Master of the Klingons




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